Christopher Alender

Director Christopher Alender was always inspired by the visual worlds created through the fantasy of film, nurturing the hope as a child that he would one day become an animator for Disney. The Atlanta, GA native would remain interested in filmmaking even as he became an adult, going on to earn his film degree from Florida State University in 1998 and then relocate to California to continue pursuing his dream. Alender worked as a freelance film editor for some years before founding his own production company, Soapbox Films, in 2003. The business took off producing commercials for brands like The Disney Channel and E!, and Alender's reputation as a director grew with the company. In 2009, he helped direct a musical short that featured the beloved puppet characters The Muppets performing a comical version of the classic hard rock song "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. The short helped relaunch The Muppets for a new generation, and Alender soon had an even more ambitious project on his docket, creating a moody, fantastical, and ultimately, critically acclaimed steampunk world for the music video "Eye of the Storm" by Ben Lovett in 2011. Directing the atmospheric story through precise blue-screen technology, Alender showed a keen skill for pacing and world-building with the video. The success brought Alender to the attention of the major Hollywood studios, and he was chosen in 2014 to direct an upcoming sci-fi/fantasy project from producer J.J. Abrams, widely reported to be a sequel in spirit if not in fact to Abrams' earlier success "Cloverfield" (2008).